Julie and Mike Arndt, who own the Minuteman Press locations in Brandon and Plant City, are promoting their company’s new program to help area businesses promote themselves and “bounce back” from COVID-19 closures.
Small businesses were some of the hardest hit by COVID-19 shutdowns, so they’ve needed all the help they can get to bounce back.
Minuteman Press International is helping these businesses get back on their feet with its new Bounce Back USA program, which offers free methods for advertising as well as free COVID-19 awareness and prevention materials for their storefronts. The national program’s effects are being felt here in Eastern Hillsborough County.
Julie and Mike Arndt, who own the Minuteman Press stores in Brandon and Plant City, said choosing to join the company’s Bounce Back program was an easy call to make because it’s “a reminder that we’re all in this together” and an opportunity to help business owners feel like they don’t have to give up.
“We had the option whether or not to participate,” Julie Arndt said. “When we looked at it many months ago, in April, it was a pretty quick response to what was happening with COVID. We were really grieving for those that had to close and had no options. As things started to open back up, we had an opportunity to be a hand to help other businesses pull up and keep going.”
The Arndts are running independent Bounce Back websites for Brandon/Riverview and Plant City-area businesses. The websites’ purpose is to give these businesses a spotlight by allowing them to submit free listings, which the Arndts then use to get the word out about them through social media and other channels. It’s basically created a series of “buy local” movements for areas covered in the Bounce Back programs, which are reflected in some of the signage these businesses are provided when they submit a listing. Julie Arndt said approximately 125 total businesses are currently using their two Bounce Back sites as of press time and that the Minuteman stores have been engaged with all three areas’ chambers of commerce.
In a way, it’s an extension of what was happening as early as March when non-essential businesses had to shut down. Printing companies like Minuteman were designated as essential businesses, so they were able to stay open and keep working.
“When the shutdowns and quarantines first hit, we made it a point to let people know we were still here and still open,” Julie Arndt said. “Once the other essential businesses found out we were open, we were able to help them with all of their printing needs (such as custom printed forms and pads) and keep their production and operations going. It was great for them to see the value of us as a local printing and business services provider, and we gained several new customers as a result.”
Because the COVID-19 situation is extremely fluid and constantly changing, the Arndts have no plans to stop offering Bounce Back USA services and will keep helping out as long as businesses need it.
“We plan on keeping it going as long as COVID is relevant,” Julie Arndt said. “There is no stop date.”
Plant City businesses can submit their listings and get more information online at bouncebackusa.minuteman.com/locations/fl/plant-city/ and Brandon/Riverview businesses can go to bouncebackusa.minuteman.com/locations/fl/brandon/.